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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-31

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] New Stock Bubble Probe
  • [02] GSEE President Beaten Up
  • [03] Thriller in Piraeus
  • [04] Resolutions on Peace and Stability
  • [05] Awaiting Cabinet Reshuffle
  • [06] Papariga on Phosphorous Waste
  • [07] Hamas Speaks of "Unfair Conditions"
  • [08] Iran Face-to-Face with the UN
  • [09] Mass Dismissals by Fuji Photo Film
  • [10] Butina Signed with Olympiacos
  • [11] For Fear of Dioxin
  • [12] Avian Flu Prompts Alertness
  • [13] New Night Bus Route
  • [14] Regulations for the Greek Press

  • [01] Ordered by Deputy First Instance Prosecutor New Stock Bubble Probe

    31 Jan 2006 16:16:00 (Last updated: 31 Jan 2006 21:08:16)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105,8-NET

    The stock bubble case, which had been handled by former Examiner Konstantina Bourboulia, reopens just a day prior to a Paris Appellate Courts going over the issue of her extradition to Greece. Deputy First Instance Prosecutor Haralabos Lakafosis ordered a new probe targeting companies accused of the stock bubble case on the Athens Stock Exchange. Olympic Technodomiki Construction Company and Tasoglou SA are facing prosecution for embezzlement and money laundering, whereas Alfa Bank personnel for aiding and abetting embezzlement. Former Examiner Konstantina Bourboulia, in charge of a probe into the case, had ruled that the only allegation that could stand in court was that of the alleged manipulation of shares, an offence that rests with the One-Member First Instance courts jurisdiction. In the meantime, with regard to the extrajudicial ring, Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas filed a lawsuit against attorneys Sakis Kehagioglou and Giorgos Nikolakopoulos charging them with incitement and breaching duty, as well as against former Examiner Antonia Ilia and former Athens First Instance Court Chief Gerasimos Dionysatos charging them with breaching duty. The case relates to the way the litigation between businessmen M. Kestekoglou and M. Bizaki was handled.

    Decision on Bourboulia Due Tomorrow

    In the meantime, a French Appellate Court is due to decide tomorrow whether former Examiner Mrs Bourboulia can be extradited to Greece.

    Mrs Bourboulias, on her part, has requested not be extradited, for, as she argues, her life is in danger. Furthermore, new evidence and names of businessmen are expected to come to light, as soon as her bank accounts in Switzerland open. The Swiss judicial authorities are to discuss the issue in the weeks to come.

    Referring on the issue, Greek Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras clarified, "The Greek state is capable of guarantying the safety of all defendants, as well as their right to stand a fair trial. It goes without saying that this applies to Mrs Bourboulias case, as well."

    Furthermore, on the occasion of the new stock bubble probe, Mr Papaligouras stated, "We ought to leave Justice go independent. What I can assure you is that the law will favour no one."

    Government spokesman Thodoris Roussopoulos also made a reference to the issue. "Justice functions independently, and thats a fact," he underscored and further added, "Justice has touched on the Stock Exchange issue before and keeps doing so."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Sustained Head Injuries GSEE President Beaten Up

    31 Jan 2006 21:36:00 (Last updated: 31 Jan 2006 23:46:12)

    Sources: NET, ANA

    The President of the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE), Christos Polyzogopoulos fell prey to a gang of youth on Tuesday night at 8.15. Christos Polyzogopoulos was on his car along with Professor of Labour Law and responsible for GSEEs Labour Institute Ioannis Robolis. They had stopped at a traffic light, when the youth led an assault against him. He was forced out of his car and beaten up. In his effort to stop them, Mr Robolis was slightly injured, while the cars windscreen was smashed into pieces. They then snatched two bag staffed with document from the trunk, Mr polyzogopoulos self phone and fled in the direction of Exarhia before a squad of riot police rushed to the site the moment they realized what had happened. Escorted by Mr Robolis, the GSEE President went to a clinic on foot and he underwent tests, since he sustained heavy head injuries.

    The police transferred his car to the labs of the Crime Service to take fingerprints, since, according to witnesses, most of the youth touched the car bare-handed.

    As per police, the group of youth was heading towards Exarhia following a demonstration and a march some 500 people had staged in support of detainees Kalaitzidis, Aspiotis and Karassarini. Police has launched a manhunt for the arrest of the perpetrators.

    Greek Political World Condemns the Assault

    On visiting Mr Polyzogopoulos, Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis condemned the attack and described it as an action beyond belief. Development Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos, PASOK leader George Papandreou and PASOK parliamentarians V. Papandreou, A. Tsohatzopoulos and Ch. Protopapas also paid a visit to the GSEE President.

    Speaking on behalf of Parliament, second Deputy Speaker G. Sourlas called the assault on Mr Polyzogopoulos an "unmanly attack," and wished him quick recuperation. SYN issued an announcement rebuking the brutal attack against Mr Polyzogopoulos.

    State Minister Thodoris Roussopoulos condemned the act of violence against Mr Polyzogopoulos and reassured that all measures will be taken to assist the police manhunt.

    PASOK parliamentarian Ch. Kastanidis also voiced his repugnance and expressed his hope that his health condition will soon improve.

    ND parliamentarian Ev. Haitidis spoke of an unacceptable act of violence.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Manhunt for Two Robbers Thriller in Piraeus

    31 Jan 2006 16:36:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    An unprecedented four-hour thriller took place this morning at the port of Piraeus, when information stated that the two robbers found refuge in a ship. The Authorities blockaded the area and specially trained frogmen investigating ship to ship with no result. As per the Press Office Director of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine Konstantinos Michos, information proved false and investigations for the location of the two perpetrators are continuing in the broader area of Piraeus, while ships routes are performed as normal. At some point, the impression that shots were fired was given, however, they were stun hand grenades, which were thrown by the frogmen.

    The Story

    The robbery at the Agricultural Bank in Drapetsona took place at 10:20am, when the two perpetrators wearing hoods and threatening with guns seized approximately 25,000 euros and escaped on a motorcycle.

    Shortly after, information reaching the police stated that the perpetrators arrived in the biggest port of the country, through Agios Dionysios gate, where ships for Crete and the Dodecanese sail. An ambulance and a Port Authority van rushed to the scene.

    Immediately, the Port Authority blockaded the port and started investigating ships. With their finger on the trigger, Special Forces men thoroughly checked passenger ships Rodanthi and Milena, with no result, and later blockaded Aegean Glory.

    As the forces approached the ship, in order to embark on it and investigate, noises resembling gunshots were heard. The Port Authority officials took cover behind vehicles parked on the dock and replied with stun hand grenades.

    For precautionary reasons, all other ships destined for the Dodecanese docked in the area, were checked. The investigations for the location of the two robbers are continuing in the broader area of Piraeus.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Manhunt Underway

    [04] Resolutions on Peace and Stability

    31 Jan 2006 20:05:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8, ANA

    In his first statement in his capacity as the Socialist International President following the end of the two-day conference held in Athens, PASOK leader George Papandreou argued that he is to make the best of his post to serve Greece. It is an opportunity, he pointed out, to make the best of this post to promote proposals and ideas from all over the world and to bolster up the image of Greece. During the proceedings of the Conference, four resolutions, on the Balkans, Middle East, poverty and inequality and peace, were approved.

    Great Responsibility

    George Papandreou spoke of challenge, honour and great responsibility he is to shoulder. He underlined that he is not at all intimidated by hardships, adding that he is primarily interested in Greece and pointing out that the international experience and the representation in international fora and bodies have a lot to offer to the country.

    In this context, he noted that he will work alongside with any Greek Foreign Affairs Minister to the benefit of the Greek issues.

    Mr Papandreou thanked the Prime Minister for his wishes for success in his new post.

    "Leave the Path of Dialogue Open"

    The PASOK leader hailed the participation of Greek-Cypriot, Turkish-Cypriot and Turkish parties in the Socialist International Conference as a yet another drive towards settling the issue of Cyprus.

    With regard to the supervision of the controlling interests of Mass Media, George Papandreou maintained he aims to orient his attention to Berlusconi-like phenomena, which, as he claimed, have nothing to do with Greece or another county, yet they go beyond national borders.

    Referring to Hamas and the resolution issued today by the Socialist International, Mr Papandreou noted that the path of dialogue, should remain open. He further added that the draft resolution was processed by members of the Israeli and Palestinian parties that attended the Conference.

    Commenting on the Socialist Internationals relevant resolution and the contacts between delegations from Croatia and Kosovo on the sidelines of the Conference, he underscored that a solution on the Kosovo issue should respect the multiethnic character of the region, avoid ethnic cleansing operations and enjoy all parties acceptance.

    When questioned on Irans referral to the UN, PASOK leader requested all peaceful measures be exhausted and Irans government closely cooperate with head of the UNs nuclear watchdog El Baradei.

    On the matter of terrorism, the Socialist International President said that it is confronted in political terms, and added that curtailing citizens rights and freedoms narrows down the chances of settling the problem.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Elected to Presidency

    [05] Awaiting Prime Minister's Decisions Awaiting Cabinet Reshuffle

    31 Jan 2006 18:50:00 (Last updated: 31 Jan 2006 19:54:45)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET

    The cabinet reshuffle is one of the issues mainly topping this weeks agenda. Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has not put his cards on the table, while speculations keep running wild. A dialogue held between the Prime Minister and journalists during yesterdays reception thrown at the Presidential Mansion prompted a relevant question posed to government spokesman Thodoris Roussopoulos at the briefing of the political reporters. "He (the Prime Minister) probably smiled at the question posed cutely by a journalist," said Mr Roussopoulos. "All the Ministers are working on and announcing their work," he added, denying that the rumours about cabinet reshuffle have yielded an adverse effect on the government.

    When Transport Minister Michael Liapis was also asked on the issue, he quoted Socrates. "I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing," he underlined without further elaborating on the matter.

    Similarly ambiguous, Deputy Transport Minister Anastasios Neratzis underscored that the responsibility rests with the Prime Minister.

    The statements by Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias were on the same wavelength, as well. Although he was "attacked" with questions, he avoided going into details, pointing out, "You do well asking about the cabinet reshuffle. But what can I answer back?"

    However, it appears that both the Ministers and the members of NDs Parliamentary Group are keenly interested in the Prime Ministers future moves.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Solidarity to Personnel Papariga on Phosphorous Waste

    31 Jan 2006 17:03:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    KKE secretary general Aleka Papariga voiced her solidarity to the struggle of the personnel to avert the shutdown of Thessalonikis Phosphorous Waste Industry, after meeting with a delegation of the Panhellenic Federation of Workers (POE). Mrs Papariga underlined that the decision to shut down the factory can only be attributed to its being given to mighty businessmen who are keen on more profit, adding, "The labour should not pay the price." As she said, her party will stand by the employees struggle to avert the shutdown, and that in any case KKE will be on the front line of their fight and claims.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Haniya Replies over Financial Aid Hamas Speaks of "Unfair Conditions"

    31 Jan 2006 15:31:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The head of the organisations ballot, Ismail Haniya, replied to the Quartet (UN, EU, US, Russia), which associated financial aid to the Palestinians with the renouncement of violence and Israels recognition by Hamas. As he claimed, financial aid is "a humanitarian duty as the Palestinian people are living under Israeli occupation" and thus it should not be linked to "unfair conditions." Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaals statements to British newspaper The Guardian were even harsher: "We will not succumb to blackmail," noted the exiled leader, stating that Hams will not abandon its fight as exchange for financial aid. Addressing Israel, Meshaal claimed that Hamas "will never recognise the permanence of a Zionist state created in our turf, in order to repair the sins of others or to solve the problems of others," and concluded "if you desire to accept the principles of a long term truce we are ready to negotiate its conditions."

    In the meantime, two Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers during a raid in the West Bank. As per eyewitnesses the victims were members o f Islamic Jihad, while one soldier, who was injured, was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Israel.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Suffocating Pressure by SC's Permanent Five Iran Face-to-Face with the UN

    31 Jan 2006 12:52:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Following the discussions in London, with the participation of Germany, the five permanent members of the Council, China, Russia, the US, France and United Kingdom, asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the referral of the Iranian nuclear brief to the UN Security Council. The decision was publicised late last night after the diplomatic dead-end to the dispute raised by the decision taken by Tehran for the restart of its nuclear programme, in view of the meeting by the IAEA Committee, which is urgently convening next Thursday and Friday.

    The group of five, after its carefully phrased announcement, avoided making a recommendation for the official referral of Iran to the Security Council, not ruling out the event of taking up action in March, when the new summit of the IAEA will take place: "The IAEA Council, in its emergency meeting this week, will have to refer its decisions, over the steps to be taken in Irans case, to the Security Council," stated the announcement.

    This deadline is interpreted as a step down to Moscows objections, which opposed the prospect of Irans official referral from the beginning.

    Thus, the alternate Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, commenting on the development spoke of a simple briefing of the Security Council as to the results of the IAEA Summit, while the US side described the joint statements of the "5" as the most decisive act of the previous years.

    Tehran is Adamant

    Iran reacted, stating that there is no legal base for its referral, noting that the restart of the nuclear and development programme is an irreversible procedure. "The Europeans cannot find a legal base as to send the Iranian brief to the Security Council and this constitutes a great difficulty," noted the chief of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Gholamreza Agazadeh speaking to news agency Isna, stating that the limits on finding a diplomatic solution have ended.

    In the past, Iranian officials had warned that a possible referral of the case to the Council will lead the collaboration with UN inspectors to a halt, but also to a repeat of the uranium enrichment procedure, the most controversial part of the nuclear programme, since it can also be used for weapon production. Furthermore, they have insinuated of a possible consequence to the exports of crude oil, given the fact that Iran is the fourth biggest oil producing country in the world. Already, the Ministers of Libya and Venezuela, in statements made in the context of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Summit (OPEC), taking place in Vienna, foresaw an increase of international fuel prices against the fear of a possible insufficient refuelling of the market.

    Two months remain for the last efforts, aimed at the resolution of the dead end. If the issue finally reaches the Security Council no one can predict its development. The imposing of financial penalties may be decided on, in order for Tehran to be persuaded to abandon its demands on nuclear technology, or a simple discussion can be carried out and the case be referred to the IAEA.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN- Iran 'must face Security Council'

    BBC - Iran nuclear case 'will go to UN'

    REUTERS - Permanent five say IAEA must report Iran to U.N

    [09] 5,000 Employees Dismissed Mass Dismissals by Fuji Photo Film

    31 Jan 2006 16:42:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The mass dismissals of 5,000 employees were announced by Japanese company Fuji Photo Film (Fujifilm), in order for it to maintain its profitability. The dismissals are in the context of a broader reorganisation programme and will be completed by September 2006. As per financial figures made public by the company, its net profit was decreased by 18.1%, to 423 million euros, in the first nine months of 2005-2006.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] Butina Signed with Olympiacos

    31 Jan 2006 12:41:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Olympiacos is planning to build next seasons team ahead of time. After the acquisition of Ne and Zevlakov, who will be integrated in the team in the summer, the "red and whites" signed another player, 31-year-old Croat goalkeeper of Belgian Brugge, Tomislav Butina and are negotiating with Iraklis for Panagiotis Lagos transfer. As per sources, even if only the last details remain in order to officially announce Butinas acquisition, the Croatian goalie will receive approximately 400,000 euros for three years. Moreover, after the signatures are placed, Ervin Lemens contract with Olympiacos will be broken.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] For Fear of Dioxin

    31 Jan 2006 21:25:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    The Greek Central Food Control Agency (EFET) sent a letter to the European authorities requesting more information on the issue of dioxin detected on animal feed produced by Dutch companies. The EFET, however, appeared soothing following the release of the test results, according to which, no infected meat products were detected in the farms of three European countries. In particular, some 700 farms in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands remain under quarantine for fear of dioxin. The first tests on pork meat conducted by the Belgian authorities showed that the public health runs no risks, at least for the time being.

    Lowest Levels of Dioxin

    While the Belgian and the Dutch are vying to detect whether their pork and poultry have been infected and if so, up to what extent, test results on dioxin levels in foodstuffs conducted by Dimokritos National Centre for Scientific Research, Greece, since 2002 exempt Greek products.

    Professor of Agricultural Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Thomas Alifakiotis argued, "In Greece, we use fibre food and that is where we excel at."

    As per L. Leontiadis, a Dimokritos scientist, the studies have shown that the Greek foodstuffs contain the lowest levels of dioxin.

    In its announcement, KKE underlined that the assurances given that no infected animal feed and meat products has entered Greece should soothe no one and called on the government to proceed with broader inspections.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Germany seals off five farms in dioxin feed alert

    Forbes: EU says 617 farms quarantined after dioxin incidents

    Related News:

    New Dioxin Scandal?

    [12] Relevant Parliament Committee Briefed Avian Flu Prompts Alertness

    31 Jan 2006 17:21:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ANA

    Greece is on high alert to avert a possible avian flu outbreak, reassured today both Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis and Rural Development Evangelos Basiakos while addressing the relevant Parliament Committee. Mr Kaklamanis estimated that there is going to be an avian flu case in Greece some time in the future despite the measures taken. In this context, Mr Kaklamanis announced that two hospitals, one in Athens and another in Thessaloniki, are to take part in a readiness exercise in the coming week, while he made public that similar exercises have been carried out in all the hospitals nationwide.

    We Dont Rest Assured

    The President of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control (KEEL), Aggelos Hatzakis, was soothing regarding Greece, since, as he claimed, the socioeconomic standards Greece enjoys, as well as the living conditions of its citizens along with the measures taken, do not allow a pandemic.

    "We should be on alert and never rest assured. Vigorous inspections are being conducted at all Greeces entry points lest we have a problem. Our efforts, which were prompt and effective, brace Greece from an avian flu outbreak," argued Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos.

    Mr Basiakos also said that since October some 3,000 samples have been tested and found negative to avian flu virus, while he stressed shortages have been dealt with and all claims issued by the Prefectures regarding the hiring of permanent and season personnel have been met.

    On his part, Deputy Rural Development Minister Alexandros Kontos made public that a package of measures to support the poultry units will be announced within the week.

    Both Mr Basiakos and Mr Kontos ruled out taking more precautionary measures, including the culling of domestic poultry and ban on hunting, unless they are vested with the authority to do so by the EU.

    Opposition parliamentarians, on their part, spoke of lack of information and coordination among the relevant Ministers.

    PASOK parliamentarian Leonidas Grigorakos spoke of a shortage in anti-viral vaccines just to prompt Health Ministers objections.

    Mr Kaklamanis mentioned that all claims for vaccines have been met. He also clarified that the existing 26,000 Tamiflu doses will do in case avian flu cases are reported.

    KKE spokesman Stavros Skopelitis laid emphasis on the vaccination of high risk groups, including poultry unit personnel, while SYN spokesman Athanasios Leventis asked for a proper and responsible information campaign to be held in schools.

    Nikitas Kaklamanis argued that the Ministry of Health has sent to the Ministry of Education straightforward guidelines in the form of a tale issued by KEEL to the Ministry of Education to send them to schools, mainly in the countryside, explaining children why they should not be playing with chickens.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] From Piraeus to Kifissia New Night Bus Route

    31 Jan 2006 15:41:00

    Sources: NET, ANA

    A night bus route will start operating as of midnight tonight. Line 500 Piraeus Kifissia will travel along the electric railway line and will operate from 00:30am to 04:30am. "The new line broadens the coverage of city transport and facilitates life in the city," noted Minister of Transport and Communications Michael Liapis, inaugurating the new line.

    The new bus line will start off from Karaiskakis Square in Piraeus and end at Platanos Square in Kifissia. It will travel along the electric railway line and among others, will stop at every ISAP station, while the frequency of the routes will be every half hour, from 00:30am to 04:30am.

    In the framework of the new transport map, the operation of a new express line is foreseen, which is E42 Ano Liosia Doukisis Plakentias Station and will connect the eastern with the western suburbs and two new local lines in Psychiko, 651 and 653.

    Mr Liapis visited the ISAP Maintenance Depot at Faliro Station, which was recently renovated, and announced the materialisation of two more important works.

    They are the renovation of the line and the strengthening of the tunnel from Omonoia to Monastiraki, with a budget of 142 million euros and the installation of air conditioning systems in all ISAP trains.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [14] Bill on Articles Regulations for the Greek Press

    31 Jan 2006 14:38:00

    Sources: NET, ANA

    The bill, which will establish the criteria, based on which articles, notifications and balances will be published in daily, weekly, regional and local Press was approved by the Government Committee today. The new bill fulfilled an old demand of provincial Unions and materialised a pre-election ND pledge, noted Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos in the political reporters briefing, noting that the relevant groundwork with interested parties lasted 14 months and resulted in a high percentage of agreement.

    As per the new bill, over the publication of articles, the following have to be taken into account: the distribution time of newspapers, the number of pages, the number of employed journalists, the percentage of current and local subject matter and the percentage of news reproduction from other sources.

    On a question over the distribution of state-funded advertising, Mr Roussopoulos stated, based on his responsibility over the adherence of a 30% distribution to the region, that a committee has been formed, in which representatives of provincial newspapers are taking part in, and is in the position to check relevant articles monthly.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

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